Afghanistan: Drought and Flash Floods Emergency Appeal n° MDRAF005 EPoA update n° 4

Situation Report
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Summary of operation update:

This operation update informs operation progress covering the period until 31 December 2019. The operation has reached over 169,000 people from multiple sectors - 28,000 in Shelter; 45,500 in Livelihoods and basic needs; 94,428 in Health and 1,185 in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

However, the Emergency Appeal (EA) is only 48 per cent funded which has left some key sectoral areas of activities with significant funding gaps due to budget limitations - Livelihoods and basic needs; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); DRR and Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI). As such, planned activities may reach less number of people than targeted, resulting in unmet humanitarian needs.

Description of the disaster

Afghanistan experienced the worst drought in a decade in 2018-2019 with about 13.5 million people severely food insecure, which was 6 million more than in 2017 .

Several droughts affected provinces were also hit by flash floods in March and April 2019, further exacerbating the humanitarian situation. The flash floods destroyed homes, damaged infrastructure and agricultural land in several districts affecting more than 350,000 people in the country. According to the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Agency, the most affected provinces were Farah, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Herat, Nangarhar and Badghis.

As of December 2019, millions of people are still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the drought and flash floods. Hunger and malnutrition remain at dangerously high levels despite the passing of the drought with 14.3 million people forecast to be in crisis or emergency food insecurity in the first months of 2020. As temperature continues to drop, responding to the humanitarian needs will be critical to helping vulnerable people survive through the coming winter as it is also the peak hunger period as food production and income generation opportunities become more limited.